Utilities Bundled with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5

February 27, 2010

We all know about the main components of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5. So this post isn’t about CorelDRAW, Corel PHOTO-PAINT, Corel PowerTRACE or Corel CONNECT. I’m going to talk about some of the “bundled” add-ons that come with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5.

We’ll start with BenVista PhotoZoom Pro 2. It is an export plug-in for enlarging bitmaps with minimal loss of quality. If you have a lousy photo as a starting point, the result will be a larger lousy photo. The old rule of garbage in, garbage out still applies. Start out with a good quality photo and you can easily upsample it to a much larger size and it will still look pretty darned good. If you have already purchased CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 or downloaded the trial, you can give it a try for yourself. Now if you’ve looked for this plug-in, you may have been perplexed because it doesn’t show up in the Effects menu. Remember, it is an export plug-in. Go to File | File Format Plug-ins | Export and you should see PhotoZoom Pro 2 listed. The photo currently active in Corel PHOTO-PAINT will be transferred to PhotoZoom Pro where you can enlarge it using all types of different settings. After finishing in PhotoZoom, the enlarged photo will be returned to Corel PHOTO-PAINT.

Some of you may have noticed that Corel is supplying PhotoZoom Pro 2 and that PhotoZoom Pro 3 was released a few months ago. Let’s talk about how bundling deals like this work. Corel agrees to pay the company, BenVista, for bundling their product in the suite for “free”. Typically the payment is a very small percentage of what you or I would pay for the product by itself. Corel gets to add value to the suite and BenVista gets a nice payment. Just so you know, the full price if it wasn’t bundled is $219! Sometimes it is a flat fee, sometimes it varies based on the number of copies sold. I’m certainly not privy to the details of this deal. One thing I know for sure is that BenVista is hoping that once you are exposed to their product, you’ll like it and consider getting the newer version. Maybe they will make a special offer available to CorelDRAW X5 owners, maybe they won’t. If I had to guess, I think they will. Just remember, that is only a guess. For those who want to know more about the newer version, I wrote about PhotoZoom Pro 3 in the blog last summer.

For those who have purchased the boxed version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5, you’ll find Swish miniMax2 included on the disc as a separate install. Please read that carefully, it is not part of the download version. It is a tool for easily creating cool stuff in Flash format. I’d love to give you more details, but I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet. And just like PhotoZoom Pro, it is the previous version of the software. I’ll also guess that the Swish folks will have some sort of upgrade offer available for CorelDRAW X5 owners. If you were to buy Swish miniMax separately, it would cost you over $100. Once again, a great deal to get it bundled.

There is actually one more goodie that will be supplied when you register. I don’t know if this will only be available for a limited time or not. So if you are reading this long after I’ve written it, the offer could have been changed. Corel has not opened up registration yet. Soon the download versions will suggest that you register your copy. If you already have a Corel.com account, it takes all of about one minute. If you don’t have a Corel.com account, you’ll have to create one and it might take a couple extra minutes. The reward is that you’ll be given a download link for the KPT Collection of plug-in filters. In total there are 23 filters included.

When you are making your decision on upgrading, don’t forget to consider the value of these three included products.

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